Ranking college football’s 10 best rivalry trophies, from the Iron Skillet to the Old Brass Spittoon


Everyone loves a superb trophy, proper? Sure, a nationwide championship trophy is sweet and all, however why ought to solely the nationwide champion get to hoist some {hardware} at the finish of the recreation or the finish of the season?

Luckily, this being college soccer, cooler heads prevailed and followers of the sport have been gifted with a slew of trophies in rivalry video games, each previous and new, however many are simply as iconic and significant as every other trophy up for grabs.

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And even faculties with out rivalry trophies (ahem, UCF and UConn) tried to get it on it and create their very own , even when they did not all the time catch on.

Lots of the rivalry trophies are pretty primary and have lots of the similar motifs and aesthetics — both they seem like a trophy, have a soccer on them, are a cup or jug of some form or are simply type of plain.

But each every so often, a trophy comes alongside that both has an important historical past behind it, is visually putting or has another attribute going for it that breaks the norm.

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One of them — the Golden Egg — shall be up for grabs on Thursday when No. 9 Ole Miss travels to Starkville to tackle Missisippi State in the annual Egg Bowl. The Rebels received final yr’s recreation and holds a 63-46-6 all-time benefit in the sequence.

And although this week is rivalry week in college soccer, not all of the best rivalries have a trophy (The Game, The Iron Bowl), nor are all of the best trophies given out throughout rivalry week.

With that, this is a primer on a few of the best trophies in the sport, in no explicit order, and the way they got here to be.

1. Iron Skillet — SMU vs. TCU

  • First awarded:  1946
  • Most current winner: Sept. 28, 2021 – SMU 42, TCU 31
  • Series historical past:  TCU leads 51-42-7

This is a rivalry between two Texas faculties that is been round since 1915 and has had 100 conferences, however the awarding of the Trophy — a literal iron skillet — dates again to 1946. Like a number of trophies on this checklist, the origin story varies.

One account mentioned it was began to “prevent mutilation of school property” by raucuous followers and the skillet served as an alternative choice to vandalism. Another telling of the lore signifies an SMU fan was frying frog legs earlier than the recreation as a joke and an offended TCU fan thought the end result of the recreation ought to get deterime who received the skillet and the frog legs.

This yr’s battle wasn’t with out controversy, as then-TCU coach Gary Patterson levied a number of accusations towards SMU , solely to step down a month later. SMU coach Sonny Dykes is rumored to be the front-runner to change Patterson.

2. Floyd of Rosedale — Iowa vs. Minnesota

  • First awarded:  1935
  • Most current winner: Nov. 13, 2021 – Iowa 27, Minnesota 22
  • Series historical past:  Minnesota leads 62-51-2

A 1934 contest between the Golden Gophers and Hawkeyes grew to become heated when Iowa operating again Ozzie Simmons, one in every of the few Black gamers in the nation at the time, felt he was subjected to late hits and had to go away the recreation 3 times due to accidents.

The following yr when the two faculties confronted off, Iowa’s governor received concerned and mentioned if Minnesota gamers or officers handled Simmons the similar method they did in the previous, that the crowd would not stand for it.

So to ease tensions, Minnesota’s governor despatched a telegram wagering a prize hog that the Gophers would win the recreation and Iowa’s governor accepted. The trophy’s identify comes from Floyd Olson, then Minnesota’s governor and Rosedale Farms, the place Olson received the pig.

3. Golden Egg — Mississippi State vs. Ole Miss

  • First awarded:  1927
  • Most current winner:  Nov. 28, 2020 – Ole Miss 31, Mississippi State 24
  • Series historical past:  Ole Miss leads 63-46-6

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Another case of making an attempt to curb vandalism, the rivalry did not truly get named “The Egg Bowl” till 1979 when a Mississppi sports activities author Tom Patterson dubbed it as such. Prior to that, it was the Battle for the Golden Egg, which received its namesake from the trophy that is awarded.

In 1926, Ole Miss snapped a 13-game shedding streak in the rivalry, beating Mississippi State 7-6 in Starkville. As a outcome , Ole Miss followers stormed the area, tried to tear down goalposts and fights broke out, main to the creation of the Golden Egg as a method to stop comparable incidents in the future.

Though not truly golden, the egg is a football-shaped piece of brass extra comparable to the balls used at the time than the ones used at the moment, which is why it resembles an egg greater than a soccer.

4. Jeweled Shillelagh — Notre Dame vs. USC

  • First awarded:  1952
  • Most current winner:  Oct. 23, 2021 – Notre Dame 31, USC 16
  • Series historical past:  Notre Dame leads. 48-36-5

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The rivalry between these two faculties truly started in 1926, however in 1952, the Notre Dame Alumni Club of Los Angeles determined to commemorate the sequence up to that time and commissioned the presentation of a jeweled shillelagh, an previous Gaelic warfare membership.

At the time, it was mentioned the shillelagh was meant to “symbolize in part the high tradition, the keen rivalry and above all the sincere respect which these two great universities have for each other.” The shillelagh options ruby adorned Trojan heads for USC wins and emerald adorned shamrocks for Notre Dame wins.

The authentic shillelagh ran out of house in 1989 and is on show in South Bend. The present one is a foot longer and commemorates wins in the sequence courting again to 1990.

5. Wagon Wheel — Akron vs. Kent State

  • First awarded:  1946
  • Most current winner:  Nov. 20, 2021 – Kent State 38, Akron 0
  • Series historical past:  Akron leads 35-27-2

Though not essentially a rivalry between two perennial soccer powers, this trophy is inextricably linked to each faculties.

The trophy got here to be when former Akron industrialist John Buchtel set out to set up a college the place Kent State now could be in the 1870s. En route, his wagon received caught in the mud and when horses ultimately pulled it free, however not earlier than shedding a wheel to his wagon. 

The wheel was found in 1902 and in 1945 was determined as the trophy to give to the winner of the battle between the two MAC faculties.

6. Paul Bunyan’s Axe — Wisconsin vs. Minnesota

  • First awarded:  1948
  • Most current winner:  Dec. 19, 2020 – Wisconsin 20, Minnesota 17
  • Series historical past:  Wisconsin leads 62-60-8

Created in 1948 to change the misplaced “Slab of Bacon” trophy by Wisconsin lettterwinners, this trophy is one in every of the most iconic, and definitely amongst the greatest in college soccer.

At over six ft lengthy, the scores of every recreation in the rivalry are recorded on the deal with, with one aspect painted crimson and white for the Badgers and the different maroon and gold for the Golden Gophers. A brand new one was crafted in 2000 and the authentic axe was donated to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003.

Typically, the winner of every recreation will take the axe and run round the area with it and “chop down” the oppnents’ purpose posts.

7. Little Brown Jug — Michigan vs. Minnesota

  • First awarded:  1903
  • Most current winner:  Oct. 24, 2020 – Michigan 49, Minnesota 24
  • Series historical past:  Michigan leads 76-25-3

The oldest rivalry trophy in college soccer, the Little Brown Jug when Michigan traveled to Minnesota and introduced its personal five-gallon jug as a result of then-Wolverines coach Fielding Yost did not belief that his group’s water provide would not be tampered with.

The jug was first awarded after the two faculties tied 6-6. In the pandemonium of Minnesota followers celebrating the comeback and storming the area, Yost left the jug in Minneapolis amid all the confusion.

Due to the physicality of that recreation, the Wolverines and Gophers did not play one another once more till 1909, with the jug going to the winner of every recreation since then.

8. Golden Hat — Oklahoma vs. Texas 

  • First awarded:  1941
  • Most current winner : Oct. 9, 2021 – Oklahoma 55, Texas 48
  • Series historical past:  Texas leads 62-50-5

Red River has offered a few of the best Big 12 and college soccer video games over the final a number of years, this one included, as Texas blew a 21-point lead and Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley benched former Heisman favourite Spencer Rattler.

The winner of this storied rivalry will get to don a gold (previously bronze) ten-gallon hat to preserve for the complete yr. It was initially donated by the Texas State Fair in 1941 and is introduced by the president of the respective profitable college.

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9. Golden Boot — LSU vs. Arkansas

  • First awarded:  1996
  • Most current winner:  Nov. 13, 2021 – Arkansas 16, LSU 13 (OT)
  • Series historical past:  LSU leads 42-23-2

One of the newer trophies on this checklist, it is also one in every of the flashiest.

Introduced in 1996 and created by a former Razorback linebacker, it is made out of strong pure gold, is 4-feet tall and 200 kilos and is price about $10,000. The trophy will get its identify from the define of Arkansas and Louisiana, which border one another and resemble a boot.

LSU leads the all-time sequence and the sequence since the set up of the Golden Boot, although Sam Pittman’s squad continued its inconceivable rise when it went in to Death Valley and knocked off the Tigers 16-13 in extra time this yr.

10. Old Brass Spittoon — Michigan State vs. Indiana

  • First awarded:  1950
  • Most current winner:  Oct. 16, 2021 – Michigan State 20, Indiana 15
  • Series historical past:  Michigan State leads 49-17-2

Inspired by one other trophy on this checklist, the Old Brass Spittoon was obtained by the Michigan State pupil physique president in an vintage store in East Lansing.

It was initially purchased for $25 and there was no assure of the Hoosiers accepting this rivalry and the trophy, however ultimately Indiana despatched a telegram and accepted the problem. After that, the trophy was introduced to every group pregame as a reminder of what they’d be taking part in for.

The Spartans are 1-1 in battles for the well-known trophy beneath coach Mel Tucker’s tenure and pulled off a gutsy and shut 20-15 victory in Bloomington earlier this yr.

Honorable Mentions:

There are a lot extra trophies on the market which have fascinating tales, are aesthetically pleasing, each or have one thing solely totally different going for them altogether,

Here are the 5 present trophies that simply missed the reduce:

1. The Platypus (Oregon vs. Oregon State)

2. The Saddle (TCU vs. Texas Tech)

3. The Bronze Stalk (NIU vs. Ball State)

4. Chancellor’s Spurs (Texas vs. Texas Tech)

5. The Land of Lincoln (Illinois vs. Northwestern)